A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Modern gun season for deer opens Nov. 9; hunters can take advantage of full rut cycle over 16-days

One of the favorite times of the year for tens of thousands of Kentuckians begins Nov. 9 as modern gun deer season opens statewide. The 16-day season closes Nov. 24. The season sits squarely in the rut, when male deer are most actively pursuing does to breed. “Our modern gun season this year starts very early in November,” said Gabe Jenkins, deer and elk program coordinator for the Kentucky Department...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Changing deer patterns can result in the ritual ‘October Lull’ for hunters

Most bow hunters will tell you the most difficult time to hunt deer during Kentucky’s 136-day archery season may be the so-called October Lull. In early-to-mid October deer seem to disappear into thin air. Early season stands where hunters saw lots of deer suddenly go cold, as if some mythical switch has been flipped. In fact, there’s no drop off in deer activity. The October Lull can be explained...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Answering a few leftover questions from KET’s fall hunting call-in show

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward Viewers of “Kentucky Afield” television picked up their phones and took to social media last weekend to submit more than 200 questions for the annual fall hunting call-in show. Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources wildlife biologists Gabe Jenkins and John Morgan, along with Sgt. Rufus Cravens of the department’s Law Enforcement Division, joined...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: EHD outbreak update shows reports of dead, dying deer now in 72 counties

In the past month the number of reports of dead and/or dying deer received by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) has ballooned to 2,967. The tissue and blood samples taken from fresh specimens in the field confirmed that the cause was Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), specifically the EHD-2 strain, according to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens,...

New areas, opportunities available for hunters as new state deer season gets underway

The morning air is crisp and comfortable. Dew blankets the grass and clings to spider webs that glisten as the sun’s rays find them. A late August taste of fall is enough to get any deer hunter excited with anticipation about what is around the corner. The 2017-18 deer season opens on Saturday, Sept. 2 in Kentucky with the start of the 136-day archery season. The crossbow, youth gun, muzzleloader...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Cooler temperatures make outlook for new deer season promising

With Kentucky’s 2017-18 deer season set to open Saturday, with the start of archery hunting, the weather outlook for September looks promising. Yes, rain showers are likely for opening weekend, but the AccuWeather forecast for the month ahead is projected to be cooler to normal in temperature, following a cooler than normal August and a warmer than normal July. The season dates for Kentucky’s...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Recent EHD outbreak centered on Eastern Kentucky deer population

In recents weeks reports have been trickling in from landowners finding dead and/or dying deer on their property around farms ponds and small streams. Samples taken from some of the deer, and sent to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens, Georgia, verified that the cause was Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), specifically the EHD-2 strain. “The epicenter was in Magoffin,...

State launches online reporting system to help researchers monitor deer disease outbreak

People can now go online to report suspected cases of epizootic hemorrhagic disease in dead or dying deer. “We’ve created an easy-to-use online survey that allows people to notify the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife of dead or dying deer no matter what time of day,” said Gabe Jenkins, big game coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “We’ll use this information to create up-to-date...

Several eastern Kentucky counties report presence of viral disease in white tailed deer population

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease has been reported in white-tailed deer in several east Kentucky counties, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources said. The department received confirmation from the Georgia- based Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study earlier this week of a Kentucky deer with a strain of the disease. “Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease is not transmittable to people...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Elk quota hunt application deadline is rapidly approaching

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward Twenty years ago this December, seven elk were released atop Potato Knob in Perry County in front of thousands of onlookers. The landmark restoration of a free roaming elk herd in Kentucky was off and running. Fast forward to present day. There are now more elk in Kentucky than any state east of the Rocky Mountains and each year the prospect of harvesting one compels...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: It’s a wrap — a quick review of Kentucky’s 2016-17 deer season

It’s a wrap. Kentucky’s 2016-17 deer season ended last week with the conclusion of archery hunting. The season will likely be remembered for unseasonable weather conditions that impacted hunter participation, a bumper crop of acorns that meant deer didn’t have to move around as much to find food, and full moons during prime hunting dates, that caused deer to move less during daylight hours. Here’s...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: All signs point to beginning of modern gun deer season

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward Shredded bark on saplings, fresh scrapes along old logging trails and trail camera snapshots of passing bucks are encouraging signs that deer activity is picking up across Kentucky and just in time. The statewide modern firearm deer season opens Nov. 12 this year. Arguably the most widely anticipated of the fall hunting opportunities, it’s structured to coincide...

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department asking deer, elk hunters to provide additional information

Starting this season, hunters will be asked to provide additional information about their harvested deer and elk during the telecheck process. All harvested deer and elk must be reported to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources either by phone at 1-800-245-4263 or online telecheck at fw.ky.gov. Those checking an antlerless male deer will now be asked to distinguish it as a male fawn...

Kentucky Department for Fish and Wildlife seeking public comments on state’s deer hunting program

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources encourages deer hunters to participate in a new online survey about deer hunting and management in Kentucky. The survey is available at www.research.net/r/KYDeerInput2016 through Sept. 9. “We’ve not surveyed our hunters in a long time,” said Gabe Jenkins, deer program coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “Hunters in Kentucky are...

State accepting applications through April for four types of new elk hunting permits

The drawing for elk permits is open to both Kentucky residents and those who live outside the state. Applications are being accepted through April (Creative Commons Photo)   Now is the time to apply for Kentucky’s elk quota hunts.   Hunters have until midnight on April 30 to apply online via the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ mobile-friendly website at fw.ky.gov....

Modern gun season applies to deer only; the poaching of other wildlife still a serious crime

Modern gun season for deer opened this weekend. Outdoors enthusiasts who witness any illegal hunting activity are encouraged to report it to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.   “If people have any complaints or see any violations such as trespass or poaching, they are encouraged to call 800-25ALERT (800-252-5378),” said Hank Patton, director of law enforcement...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: New deer and elk program coordinator calls his job ‘exciting’

Gabe Jenkins, deer and elk program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, holds a 14-point buck he harvested off Big Rivers WMA and State Forest last year. Jenkins was recently promoted into this new job. (Photo from F&W)   By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward   Kentucky’s modern gun deer season opens statewide on Nov. 8. When it does, Gabe Jenkins will...

Veteran wildlife biologist named to head state fish and wildlife’s deer and elk program

A veteran Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist has been named to head the agency’s deer and elk program. Wildlife biologist Gabe Jenkins’ appointment as Kentucky deer/elk program coordinator took effect this month.   Acting Wildlife Division Director Chris Garland said he is anticipating a great program under Jenkins’ leadership. “Gabe is clearly the right person to head...